New York—Sears may having issues as it struggles amid a turnaround strategy, but one place the national chain has excelled is in mobile commerce.
In fact, Sears has just been named 2011 Mobile Retailer of the Year for its “smart, strategic and creative use of the mobile medium,” according to Mobile Commerce Daily which gives the recognition annually. (Target won in 2010 and eBay in 2009)
“Sears gets that mobile commerce is not about the channel, but about the customer,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily. “Today’s store is not just doors, shelves and escalators, but keypads, local search and appealing product display on screens, and Sears’ mobile strategy is completely reflective of how control of shopping has shifted to the retailer.
‘A Level of Maturity Rare Among Nation’s Leading Retailers’
“Through its 360-degree use of mobile to support not only that medium but stores and online, Sears has shown a level of maturity rare among the nation’s leading retailers,” Khan said. “Sears’ mobile presence is making it easier to shop with the brand, and thus prepare the retailer for 21st century retailing and marketing.”
Among the mobile initiatives that Sears has instituted that merited recognition include:
●A mobile commerce-enabled website and applications for various smartphone operating systems. Sears can communicate to its loyal shoppers via an SMS database and engages consumers via mobile advertising.
●This year Sears made its out-of-home ads shoppable via a QR codes.
●Sears saw double digit mobile sales growth over Black Friday weekend by effectively tweaking its mobile site before the holiday shopping period officially began to ensure the best possible experience for mobile users. Sears also had the highest-ranking mobile commerce sites for Black Friday, according to the Compuware Gomez Performance Satisfaction Index.
●The company put bar codes throughout its traditional Wish Book catalog which could be scanned by mobile devices to view more information on items through videos and product pages, reviews or even share and buy through the mobile site.
●Sears encourages customers to take full advantage of all of the Sears Holdings applications, including Sears2go, Kmart2go, Sears Personal Shopper, mygofer2go and ManageMyLife.
●Sears is using multichannel marketing to get the word out about its mobile apps through social media, traditional public relations, and targeted print and online ads
●Sears’ buy-online-pickup-in-store initiative is a centerpiece of its mobile strategy.
“Sears scores on strategy, tactics, creative, execution, usability and consumer focus – all key requirements for mobile commerce and retail’s top prize,” Khan added.
Gilt Groupe Named Mobile Merchandise of the Year
In other recognitions, Gilt Groupe was named Mobile Merchandise of the Year because the designer flash sale site “ensures that mobile shoppers on its mobile apps and site have a pleasant experience finding just the right product.”
The company’s mobile merchandising strategy includes more than just grouping products by categories. Gilt Groupe also provides extensive product information, using lifestyle images–with actual people wearing the garments.